Recently had dinner at a spot that I tend to forget about when I’m thinking special. Each time I consider a place for Italian, this slips my mind, but only in the way that you’ve forgotten your favorite sweater at the back of your closet during a heat wave, and then in the winter welcome it’s remembrance with alot of exuberance.
Michelangelo’s is a wonderful gift to the Italian food that I adore. It’s traditional, it’s fresh, the service is top notch and even when it’s hosting a rehearsal dinner, as it did on my last experience there, my date and I weren’t forgotten about in any sense. It’s a small house and the atmosphere is classy with a pinch of “grandma’s house”, there is a tree growing up the center of the structure, you wouldn’t notice the trunk at first, but it’s there, and I think it adds a neat little unique touch to the place.
My date and I enjoyed a bottle of a light red Valpolicella, Masi “Bonacosta” (Valpolicella Classico) during our meal. The starter we chose was a wonderfully picked array of Sautéed escargot, scallops, crabmeat & shrimp with salsa bianco called Piatto di Mare con Lumache. I adore saying the dishes here. I’m going to Italy next year and this makes me feel as if I’m preparing to go there!
As our salads we chose the Insalata Pomodoro e Mozzarella and the Insalata di Asparagi e Pomodoro where fresh sliced tomato, asparagus, basil, and mozzarella abounded on each plate in a nice red vinegar based dressing (instead of the usual balsamic which was a nice change up) The asparagus salad is seasonal, fyi. But well worth it on both accounts.
The bread here is served with a lovely whipped butter, so in between sips and bites, this is a lovely treat.
For dinner itself I enjoyed the Cannelloni Pavarotti perfectly formed noodles stuffed with spinach, cheese and ground veal accompanied by mushrooms, spinach and broccoli on the side. The only critique for me was that the broccoli was unnecessary…it seemed too raw and a bit out of place. My date had the Tortellini de Anitra a tender duck and spinach tortellini with sweet berries and gorgonzola sauce. This dish was surprising to me at first, the sweet sauce actually made it gentle for me, where duck tends towards gamey tasting, this was a much welcome change up.
For dessert we split both the Chocolate Mousse and the Italian Cream Cake – both to me speak volumes for being able to do well in this category. The mousse was light and had a touch of coffee or dark chocolate to it where the cake was spongey but not soggy and the sugar factor was light and not overly cloying.
One thing to note, Michaelangelo’s includes the tip on the bill automatically, no matter what size your party. Normally this would irk me, but I’ve yet to have any hint of a bad experience there, so the math, after a few glasses of wine, is welcomed!
Michaelangelos – http://www.michelangelosrestaurant.com/ – (713) 524-7836
Rating: spoon, fork and knife – I need to remember this place more often, like my favorite sweater!